high altitude headache cure

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by davewilson, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    i've been hunting in the rockies a couple of times and put up with bad headaches on both occasions. being a flatlander it's hard to get ready for a high altitude adventure. was wondering if anyone had similar experiences and if there was any remedies for what i assume is a high altitude headache?
  2. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2005

    I grew up in Colorado and have an idea for you. First of all, and I'm sure you know this, what you describe is not altitude sickness. The only pure headache's I saw from folks coming from the east, had more to do with the bright sun than the altitude. Good sunglasses, hat and sunscreen usually cured the ailment.

    Altitude sickness is a whole other beast that I have witnessed; ruined an elk hunt in the Weminuche (sp?) wilderness when my partner started throwing up had terrible headache and dizziness. Getting to lower altitude is the only solution once Altitude sickness sets in. There are ways to lower a persons risk for this ailment if started a week before heading into the high country (+10k ft).


  3. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

    Jan 20, 2004

    Dittos to what AJ said.

    Also, gargling with one tablespoon of vinegar with 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper mixed in will keep your mind of of the head ache. Its pretty much a cure all for anything.;)
  4. Slopeshunter

    Slopeshunter Well-Known Member

    Apr 27, 2006
    Not a cure, but staying well hydrated will always help the body feel better in the mountains.
  5. Scott S

    Scott S Well-Known Member

    Apr 6, 2008
    You could also try Altitude Advantage from Wilderness Athlete. I've never used it but have read good things about it. I plan to use it when I hunt in Colorado this Oct. I'm a definite flat lander being from Alabama. :D
  6. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004

    I live 14 feet above sea level so I know how you feel when
    you go to 10,000 ft+ so hear is what i do.

    I plan my trips to colorado with two or three days before the start
    of the hunt, This gives me time to adjust to the thin air.

    Start slow for the first few days and use a walking stick (A third leg)
    and if you dont smoke you should do fine in a couple of days.

    I have hunted near 11,000 feet and did fine but had to go slow.

    A friend that lives near montrose colorado could not understand why
    we were having trouble getting use to the altitude untill he came to
    south Texas to hunt white tail deer and could not breathe. (The
    humidity here is normaly in the high 90,s.)

    I have not had to use oxygen ,But some people carry a small bottle of
    it for the headaches and swear by it.

    I am normaly the oldest in my hunting group and the younger guy,s will
    always take off at a fast pace but after a while I catch up and pass them
    using a slow steady pace with out the headache.

    I am 67 years old and I still enjoy hunting at tree line ,I just enjoy it slower.

  7. dogdinger

    dogdinger Writers Guild

    Dec 1, 2007
    i had a friend....

    ...that sufferred greatly from this and he always had rolaids with him for the altitude sickness.....said it really helped him...AJ
  8. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    thanks guys, a lot of good info/things to try.
  9. jeffbird

    jeffbird Well-Known Member

    Oct 14, 2005
    Long ago I used to climb mountains - real climbing, not just backpacking and hiking. Coming from near sea level in Texas, I was taught that once above about 8,000 feet to spend one day per 1,000 feet of elevation gain for acclimation. You can go somewhat higher during the day for a few hours, but should spend the night moving up about 1,000 feet at a time. You body is undergoing changes in response to the elevation, both with respect to decreased levels of oxygen, decreased air pressure, decreased humidity, and increased levels of light. As others have mentioned, pay attention to assure you are well hydrated. If you are hiking and carrying a load, one gallon a day is not unusual. Watch your urine for color change. Clear is preferable, yellow is time to drink up. Anything darker, stop your physical activities and make rehydration a priority. Also, watch for signs of edema - mild swelling of the feet is tolerable. Swelling of the ankles is a warning to move down. If you hear "crackles" in your lungs while breathing, move down immediately. Fluid accumulating in your lungs is a serious problem requiring priority action. Headaches can be a symptom of lots of things from inadequate conditioning, aching back musles and spasms, dehydration, inadequate time to acclimate, or from cerebral edema i.e. fluid accumulation inside of the skull. If vomiting begins, move lower for a day and make sure you are adequately hydrated. Also, boost your red meat intake about a week before going, and up the intake of dark, green vegetables to boost your iron levels, which aid in oxygen uptake. Finally, go slow and easy. Hiking and carrying a load on a steep slope, 1 m.p.h. is pretty normal and a good pace. Rest often, drink often, and take some photos. :)
  10. LewisH

    LewisH Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2007